a l b u m r e v i e w s

Produced by: Johnny Lima
  1. Leavin' In The Morning
  2. My Country 'Tis Of Thee
  3. Touch Of Love
  4. Star
  5. Memory Lane
  6. Wild, Young, Crazy In Love
  7. Shout It Out
  8. Too Late
  9. Sweet 16
  10. Only The Strong Survive
I had this review almost ready for the previous update, but pulled it at the last minute. And I am glad I did, because this album has just got better and better.
This will please a good many melodic rock fans, especially those that worship the glory days of late 80's stadium rock, a la Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.
Johnny Lima has recorded an album that is faithful to his debut, yet surpasses it in every department.
Johnny has a voice that, while is his own, also compares favourably with Jon Bon Jovi (sorry Johnny!) and Paul Laine of Danger Danger.
The style of the album also compares to Danger Danger, Def Leppard and a little of Bon Jovi.
If you know what I mean, this album has the feel of a solo album, like Paul Laine's Stick It In Your Ear or a JBJ solo record, rather than a full band album.
Nothing wrong with that or course! It's juts that there is a small style difference between a solo album and a full band album.
The album opens with a monster stadium rocker and winds through 10 tracks that leave no room for fillers - just pure high energy rock - an energy that continues even through the power ballads.
Like I said, Leavin' In The Morning is a pure Def Leppard influenced hard rocker with big choruses and a wonderful thick guitar sound that gives way slightly to some keyboards during the chorus.
My Country 'Tis Of Thee, while a little softer than the opener, runs at a faster pace and is a great emotion filled mood rocker. The chorus is not as much a mouthful as the title suggests and rolls out of and back into the next verse with ease.
Touch Of Love is a more mid paced ballad rocker and is again filled with big guitars and keys, mixed evenly and perfectly. Once again the chorus arrives smoothly and before you know it - it is gone again. That's what I love about this whole record. It takes several listens for all the melodies and song structures to sink in.
Melodies, hooks and solo's everywhere!
Star is one of my favourite tracks. This is a slow to mid paced rocker, built up with dramatic keyboards and instrumentation. The verse is slow and gets heavier into the chorus that is several layers of vocals deep and quite heavy.
Memory Lane is a more stripped back track to start with and has somewhat less impact than the opening four tracks. This works in it's favour as the album needed a lighter break about now. The chorus is pure Leppard Hysteria.
Wild, Young, Crazy In Love is a great uptempo feel good pop rocker, somewhat in the vein of the Paul Laine solo album. This is like a 60's pop rocker meets 80's hard rock!
Shout It Out is back into the heavier feel of the opening tracks. Heavy guitar, keyboards and multi layered vocals.
Too Late continues the melodic mid paced rocking of Touch Of Love.
Sweet 16 is another lighter weight good time pop rocker. A good tune, but one that maybe doesn't match the production qualities of the rest of the album.
Only The Strong Survive is another favourite. An uptempo anthem rocker with everything you could want. Moody verse, big rising chorus and killer melodies.
A great album for stadium rock fans and the like. A real jump from Johnny's debut album and a hint as to what we can look forward to in the future.
ESSENTIAL FOR: American stadium rock fans. Big bombastic AOR fans.

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